The U.S. envoy who facilitated the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban said on Wednesday that the two sides of the negotiations have broken the deadlock that lasted for three months and agreed on the rules and procedures of the negotiations.
The Special Envoy said that this progress was significant. Because it means that the warring parties are getting closer and closer to the goal of truly starting negotiations, discussing some topics that may end decades of war in Afghanistan and determine the post-war future of the country. But they must first decide the agenda of the negotiations, which is the next step.
In a series of tweets, U.S. envoy Zalme Khalilzad said the two sides signed a document and urged the Taliban and Afghan governments to start negotiations on a “political road map and ceasefire”.
According to the report, this three-page document stipulates the rules and procedures for negotiation. Negotiations will take place in Qatar, where the Taliban have a political office for a long time.
The report also said that the ceasefire, the rights of women and ethnic minorities, and constitutional amendments are expected to be at the top of the negotiating agenda. However, the list of topics to be discussed may be long and controversial, including the provision of security for thousands of disarmed Taliban militants and the dissolution of militias loyal to Kabul warlords (many of whom are allied either with the government or opposition politicians).